Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wings by Peter Doyle


I am going bush
to make some wings
from tallowwood.

The chainsaw stays at home today;
they must be hewn by hand
or the angels will not wear them.

I will find the tallest tree,
then, begging mercy,
fell it blow by blow;
hacking from the living heart
interlocked and wavy grain
of greasy yellow-brown;
hard as unforgiveness,
heavy as regret,   
riddled with      
the black-lined burrows
of Ambrosia beetles.

(Did I specifically mention    
the black-veiled sorrows       
of the locust and weevil,
left over from past plagues?)

Measuring by eye
I will cleave them
with my naked hands,
scrape them smooth with brokenness
and burnish them with prayer.

There on an altar
of rounded, mossy stones,
to offer them until the fire falls
and smoke arises,
carrying to heaven
every hint of bitterness.

Peter Doyle  20/07/2010
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